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Exposure to high noise levels

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Last amended 
15 May 2015

Sensorineural hearing loss - Exposure to high noise levels Factor

The SOP requirement is "being exposed to noise of at least 85 dBA as an 8-hour time weighted average (TWA) with a 3-dB exchange rate…."

Essentially this means 85 dBA for a cumulative total of 8 hours a day, or exposure to greater levels of dBA for shorter periods per day. Many military occupations would meet this level of exposure. In general, if you are in an environment where you need to shout to be heard, the noise level of that environment is in a range that can damage hearing.

The loudness of a sound doubles for every 3dBA increase. Thus, a dishwasher rated at 58dBA is twice as loud as one rated at 55dBA.  Working in an environment of 85dBA for 8 hours involves the same noise exposure as working in an environment of 88dBA for 4 hours, or 91dBA for 2 hours, or 94dBA for one hour, and so on.

Generally, the use of well fitted ear plugs and muffs combined will provide a 30dBA reduction in noise level.

The table of noise exposure levels and durations based on 3-dBA exchange rate forms part of the SOP and sets out the duration needed for each level of noise.

Some specific examples of relevant dBA levels in military settings include:

  • 95 dBA       Hercules Aircraft engine
  • 110 dBA      Helicopter at take-off and landing
  • 115 dBA      Engine room of a ship
  • 150 dBA      Artillery fire at 500 feet
  • 160+ dBA   Rifle, handgun or shot gun fired next to the ear
  • 130 dBA      Air raid with bombs going off in close proximity

Further assistance with calculating noise levels for particular types of exposures may be obtained from:

  • Examples of noise sources and measured noise levels
  • Physical requirements, duties, and workplace hazards of specific military occupations*

*NB.  This hotword contains an embedded table:  Military occupations with heavy noise component.  There is likely to be a high level of noise exposure – at least to the level of 85 dBA – on any given day, within the normal work environment, for all occupations listed therein.

Last reviewed for CCPS 28 September 2001.

Investigative Documents
Type Title PDF Format Word Format
Claimant Report
Exposure to High Noise Levels - Sensorineural Hearing Loss
CR9071.pdf
CR9071.docx
Preliminary questions [14404]

30447 the veteran has been exposed to high noise levels as specified in the Statements of Principles without adequate ear protection at some time.

14693  the veteran has established the causal connection between the exposure to high noise levels and VEA service for sensorineural hearing loss.

14694   the veteran has established the causal connection between the exposure to high noise levels and VEA service for the clinical onset of sensorineural hearing loss.

14696  the veteran has established the causal connection between the exposure to high noise levels and operational service for the clinical onset of sensorineural hearing loss.

or

14697  the veteran has established the causal connection between the exposure to high noise levels and eligible service for the clinical onset of sensorineural hearing loss.

or

7334     the clinical onset of the condition under consideration occurred after the end of the veteran's last period of VEA service.

7335     the condition under consideration permanently worsened.

14695   the veteran has established the causal connection between the exposure to high noise levels and VEA service for the clinical worsening of sensorineural hearing loss.

14698  the veteran has established the causal connection between the exposure to high noise levels and operational service for the clinical worsening of sensorineural hearing loss.

or

14699  the veteran has established the causal connection between the exposure to high noise levels and eligible service for the clinical worsening of sensorineural hearing loss.

Clinical onset and operational service [14696]

14700 the veteran was exposed to high noise levels as specified in the Statements of Principles for sensorineural hearing loss without adequate ear protection for a cumulative period of at least 180 days.

14703 the veteran was exposed to high noise levels as specified in the Statements of Principles for sensorineural hearing loss without adequate ear protection for a cumulative period of at least 180 days before the clinical onset of the condition under consideration.

14709 operational service made a material contribution to the veteran's exposure to high noise levels as specified in the Statements of Principles for sensorineural hearing loss without adequate ear protection for a cumulative period of at least 180 days before the clinical onset of the condition under consideration.

Clinical onset and eligible service [14697]

14701 the veteran was exposed to high noise levels as specified in the Statements of Principles for sensorineural hearing loss without adequate ear protection for a cumulative period of at least one year.

14704 the veteran was exposed to high noise levels as specified in the Statements of Principles for sensorineural hearing loss without adequate ear protection for a cumulative period of at least one year before the clinical onset of the condition under consideration.

14705 eligible service made a material contribution to the veteran's exposure to high noise levels as specified in the Statements of Principles for sensorineural hearing loss without adequate ear protection for a cumulative period of at least one year before the clinical onset of the condition under consideration.

Clinical worsening and operational service [14698]

14700 the veteran was exposed to high noise levels as specified in the Statements of Principles for sensorineural hearing loss without adequate ear protection for a cumulative period of at least 180 days.

6338     the veteran was exposed to high noise levels as specified in the Statements of Principles for sensorineural hearing loss without adequate ear protection for a cumulative period of at least 180 days before the clinical worsening of the condition under consideration.

14711 the clinical onset of the condition under consideration occurred before the veteran's exposure to high noise levels as specified in the Statements of Principles for sensorineural hearing loss without adequate ear protection for a cumulative period of at least 180 days.

14706 operational service made a material contribution to the veteran's exposure to high noise levels as specified in the Statements of Principles for sensorineural hearing loss without adequate ear protection for a cumulative period of at least 180 days before the clinical worsening of the condition under consideration.

Clinical worsening and eligible service [14699]

14701 the veteran was exposed to high noise levels as specified in the Statements of Principles for sensorineural hearing loss without adequate ear protection for a cumulative period of at least one year.

6339     the veteran was exposed to high noise levels as specified in the Statements of Principles for sensorineural hearing loss without adequate ear protection for a cumulative period of at least one year before the clinical worsening of the condition under consideration.

14712 the clinical onset of the condition under consideration occurred before the veteran's exposure to high noise levels as specified in the Statements of Principles for sensorineural hearing loss without adequate ear protection for a cumulative period of at least one year.

14707 eligible service made a material contribution to the veteran's exposure to high noise levels as specified in the Statements of Principles for sensorineural hearing loss without adequate ear protection for a cumulative period of at least one year before the clinical worsening of the condition under consideration.